Google has big hopes for its Google Analytics version 4. In fact, it calls it “the next generation of Google Analytics” – their own words. To say the least, Google Analytics 4 is (going to be) a big deal! It’s probably a good idea not to miss the bandwagon and learn how to add Google Analytics 4 to WordPress today.
In this guide, we will tell you what Google Analytics 4 is and how it is different from the previous edition of Google Analytics – called Universal Analytics. Then, we’re going to show you how to enable it on your WordPress website.
Google Analytics 4 – what it is
Google Analytics seems like a product that worked perfectly well and was probably complicated enough already, right? Who needs a new version?! 🤷♂️
The long story short is that v4 is Google’s answer to the ever-increasing popularity of mobile and the need for a more flexible way of collecting data.
The way things used to work with Universal Analytics (UA) all happened around pageviews. GA4, on the other hand, is based on events. Moreover, with this new version of Google Analytics, you can track not only a website but also an app that you might have alongside your website.
Apart from that, Google Analytics 4 also has its own new spin on reports and report looks. Among them: a new home report, real-time report, games reporting, monetization reports, and more.
Overall, Google Analytics 4 is the next step for analytics – a more modern and optimized solution.
However, there are some limitations of Google Analytics 4 to be aware of. Mainly, GA4 doesn’t yet connect to the Search Console (or other Google products), and there’s no cross-domain tracking possible. If you’re using WooCommerce, tracking your sales metrics (like conversions) also doesn’t work (yet).
“Will I lose my current Google Analytics panel after I switch?”
The good news is that you don’t have to lose any sleep over it at this point. In this early stage of Google Analytics 4’s adoption, you can run both Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 simultaneously.
How to get started with Google Analytics 4
Here’s the kicker, the recommended way of setting your site up with Google Analytics 4 is to run it alongside UA and not instead of it.
Just to emphasize this again, in the recommended setup, you’re going to be running both UA and GA4 at the same time – at least for now. As GA4 matures, we might see UA go away, but that’s not where we’re at yet.
Here’s how to set up Google Analytics 4 and then integrate it with your WordPress website: